Freelance marketing consultant and feline savior

Photo credit: blogs.riverfronttimes.com

Photo credit: blogs.riverfronttimes.com

Jenn Cloud is a super cool, cat-saving freelance marketing and social media consultant. She works in the St. Louis area, helping people develop a positive and effective web presence for their brands or products.

Annette introduced us to Jenn during her presentation, but I was still unprepared for the awesomeness that became of our guest’s presence. Oh the stories she can tell! Her speech was as inspirational as it was hilarious.

Who is Jenn Cloud?

Before breaking off and doing her own thing, Jenn worked as Vantage Credit Union’s Young and Free STL Spokester, which is meant to catch young people’s attention and promote earning credit through Vantage.

Jenn announced a litter box cleaning project in December after hearing AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds.” She set herself about completing chores no one wants to do for a small fee. Then she used the proceeds to help Tenth Life. Her efforts won the hearts of all the cat-lovers in our class.

In addition to her freelance work, Jenn now runs a blog that details her Dirty Deeds project.

Wisdom from the Cloud

Jenn’s presentation contained some very applicable advice, as well as loads of inspirational goodies. Here are a few that stuck with me:

1. To set yourself apart, take blogging seriously. We have to blog until our fingers bleed, but more importantly, we have to be honest and true to ourselves as we develop our own stories. A hefty chunk of her presentation was about stories. She emphasized that everyone has a story.

Through blogging, we can each decide how that story is going to read.

2. Work ethic can sometimes outweigh your actual skills. This point is something I believe wholeheartedly. I believe I have a good work ethic and I strive to consistently put forth dedication and effort on every task– even the menial ones. “Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.” To hear Jenn say this reassured me that all my efforts have paid off, and they will continue to open doors for me.

3. If something makes you a little nervous, do it. Jenn is a thrill seeker. I am not. I think jigsaw puzzles are exciting. While her advice is somewhat skewed because she is only motivated by adrenaline, it is still something I can learn from. I often find it difficult to step out of my comfort zone. I know I have missed many opportunities because I was uncomfortable with the situation or afraid of the possible outcomes. I have noticed that I am doing more nerve-wracking things now that I did two years ago– I’m taking a class which conditions its students to use social media, after all! Perhaps this little motivator from Jenn is the push I need to be brave.

4. Show up, man up and screw up. Being brave and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations doesn’t always work out for the best. Sometimes you screw up. You just have to learn from those mistakes and you learn what your weaknesses are to do what you can to get better. According to Jenn, “being able to snap back faster is the result of being stronger.”

5. It’s a long and difficult path to success. We’re not robots. We can’t just learn from our mistakes and constantly try to improve without being upset about our failures. It doesn’t happen that way. But Jenn’s outlook on success and failure is one I hadn’t really considered before. If you take two step forward and one step back, though you might feel a bit disheartened, you are still “a cumulative one step ahead” of where you were.

The first point Jenn made echoes Jill’s lessons about social media. The rest describe the attitude I ought to have while I build my brand. A powerful work ethic, the will to do what scares me, the ability to bounce back and the mindset that small accomplishments are huge successes: these are the tools that will help me build and maintain my brand.

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